I envy the younger generation of guitar players, particularly jazz guitarists, I really do. But I’m not jealous. In fairness, it’s necessary to explain the difference between envy and jealousy.
Envy is wanting what other people have; for example, I’m envious of Pat Metheny’s jazz guitar virtuosity. I’m also envious of John Scofield’s pedal board.
Jealousy is when you’re worried that someone is going to take something you already have. I would be jealous if Al Di Meola showed and interest in my wife. I would experience a slight flash of professional jealousy if Larry Carlton decided to jump on stage during one of my solo acoustic sets.
The number one reason I envy beginning and intermediate guitar players is YouTube. There are thousands of jazz guitar lessons on YouTube. The older cats didn’t have ‘em, obviously. But it’s not only guitar lessons – it’s the general ease of access to music that really kills me. Not a day goes by that I don’t find come across something on YouTube that I’ve been looking for pretty much my whole life.
Meanwhile, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that I would be an incredibly better all around guitarist today if 30 years ago I had the Internet as a learning tool. For instance, in 1985, when I really started getting serious about guitar, if I wanted to learn “Cool Blues” by Grant Green, I had to (a) find a record store with a copy of Born to Be Blue (1962, Blue Note), (b) most likely pay a small fortune for said record, (c) go to the music store with fingers crossed that they had the sheet music for it, (d) and then go home and probably spend at least a month trying to figure it out.
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Moreover, I didn’t have the 509,000 results from a “Grant Green Cool Blues tab” search on Google. So, clearly in this case, envy, though one of the so-called Seven Deadly Sins, is entirely justified.
On the other hand, I’m not at all jealous of the knowledge I’ve accumulated the hard way. In fact, I’m eager to share that knowledge. Nobody can take what I know about playing guitar away from me, but I can easily give it to whomever I please. And that’s a really good feeling. It’s like having too much money.
But let’s get back to John Scofield’s pedal board(s). The photo you see above is his main board. Here’s his satellite board.
That’s just amazing when you think about what a player like Scofield can do with that technology. It’s almost unnecessary in a way. But man, wouldn’t you give just about anything to plug into that set-up? I would.
Anyway, speaking of John Scofield and jazz guitar lessons on YouTube, here’s one of the most amazing improvisational guitars lessons I’ve ever seen.
If you are into jazz guitar and music, I recommend you to check out this course in DVD: